Emily Smith has provided nutrition education to school-aged children and adults through her work at Healthy Androscoggin for the past six years. She takes on each class with passion and works to create a welcoming and safe environment that allows class participants to try fun things and learn new skills. When COVID-19 put a halt to in-person learning, Emily was able to develop and learn new methods of delivering lessons through videos and virtual learning. She is a leader in her field, often training new educators and collaborating with multiple partners to deliver nutrition education to populations that face health disparities. Emily recently partnered with Catholic Charities, St. Mary’s Health System, and Good Shepard Food Bank to provide a 5-week nutrition course to 17 families seeking asylum in Maine. The partners meet weekly to stay up to date on activities and to also help meet other critical needs for the families. The 5-week nutrition course is utilizing Portuguese and French interpretation and translation of educational materials. Recipes are centered around the use of an instant pot and microwave and are chosen based on groceries delivered by food pantries and the needs/wants of the families. Emily has shared with colleagues that she has learned a lot from the families as well and how it has helped further her own cultural competency skills and delivery methods.
This year alone, Emily has conducted 279 classes. In addition to nutrition education, Emily is partnering with Park Avenue School in Auburn and Geiger Elementary in Lewiston to install two separate Story Book Trails for the community. Emily applied for a grant through Community Health Options to fund the materials needed. She also convinced the Home Depot in Auburn to volunteer staff time to build and install the Story Book Trails this upcoming Spring. Lastly, Emily has authored two children’s books that teach the value of friendship, kindness, and uniqueness. She is a wonderful coworker, teacher, mother, friend and person and we are lucky to have her as part of our Healthy Androscoggin Team.
“I like how Emily was able to give great food advice and did not make people feel bad for their choices.” – 10 Tips for Teens participant, Maine SNAP-Ed Program implemented by the University of New England funded by the Office for Family Independence, Maine Department of Health and Human Services with USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
“So grateful for the in-person education that Emily provided for your program. Much of it was part of our outdoor learning. The lesson and the exercises/movement break were spot on. We are very thankful to Emily. She is an engaging, top-notch educator!”- – Teacher participant, Maine SNAP-Ed Program implemented by the University of New England funded by the Office for Family Independence, Maine Department of Health and Human Services with USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program